Monday, January 12, 2009

Fire and Ice by Julie Garwood

Fire and Ice by Julie Garwood is the latest book that I have read for part 1 of the 2009 Book Challenge. This book is a stand alone, but there are secondary characters from a previous book. I suspect there will be a third book with other secondary characters. The book is in the genre of romantic suspense.

Sophie Rose is a journalist working for a small, local Chicago paper. She is somewhat notorious because her father is a notorious. He is suspected of being a Robin Hood type thief. Thus, Bobby Rose is often a person of interest to law enforcement. No one has ever been able to link him to any actual crime, however. Sophie has spent years being bullied by various law enforcement agencies that would like to use her to get evidence from her to use to arrest him. Sophie is a loyal daughter though, so she protects him fiercely--at the same time, she's a moral daughter. She has come to realize that she shouldn't profit from her father's ill-gotten gains so she no longer accepts money or gifts from him. She also gives any extra money she has to charity in a sort of penance. Since she grew up rich, this is difficult for her. (I found it difficult too---I mean a Fendi bag---c'mon, her father only steals from criminals!! What could it hurt?)

In a convoluted story line, events converge to place Sophie in danger. The police and FBI think she is being threatened because of the latest scam involving her father. Turns out it's something completely different. Jake MacAlister, an FBI agent, ends up protecting her. While laying low, Sophie and Jake fly to Alaska to investigate a story for Sophie's paper. Those scenes in Alaska were hard to take, I don't mind telling you because--the cold, oh, the cold. How do people live with it? Anyway, while running from killers and trekking to Alaska, Sophie and Jake fall in love. Together, they figure out why she's been shot, shot at, kidnapped and bashed on the head. And they all lived happily ever after.

This was a pleasant book with no emotional highs or lows. The characters are all likable. Sophie's character and motivations are well-explained while Jake remains an enigma. Early in the book it's mentioned that Jake has no intention of ever marrying and a throw-away comment at the end mentions that his mother is on her fourth or fifth honeymoon. Those two things may be related but Jake's motivations and character are never really fleshed out. The mystery was bizarre and confusing. Just when you thought the story was over, Sophie was kidnapped again. The bad guy comes out of nowhere and acts rather ruthless with no back-story to explain his behavior. The relationship between Sophie and Jake was pretty shallow and the decision to marry happens abruptly at the end. While I enjoyed the book, I would give it a three of five stars, I can't place it on list of potential best of the year. It was pleasant and forgettable--and hey, sometimes that's exactly what you are looking for in a book.

No comments: